Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3) by Richelle Mead Rating: 5/5 Description: Is Rose’s fate to kill the person she loves most? It’s springtime at St. Vladimir’s Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since Mason’s death, Rose hasn’t been feeling quite right. She has dark flashbacks in the middle of practice, can’t concentrate in class, and has terrifying dreams about Lissa. But Rose has an even bigger secret …. She’s in love with Dimitri. And this time, it’s way more than a crush. Then Strigoi target the academy in the deadliest attack in Moroi history, and Dimitri is taken. Rose must protect Lissa at all costs, but keeping her best friend safe could mean losing Dimitri forever… REVIEW: I’m going to try to do this review without spoilers, but it’s going to be hard because the ending — wow! The first time I read this I finished it at about 1 am, but then I had to keep reading book four because I was freaking out about the ending to this one. “Nooooooooooooooooo,” I think I screamed, luckily not waking my sleeping household. Thank goodness I started this series when five books had already been published, and it was only a short month until the final book was going to be released. I can’t imagine having to deal with the ending of this novel and then having to wait forever until book four came out. Having said that, now that this is somewhere around my tenth time reading through the series, I was prepared for what was going to happen, but it still tears my heart out. In this book Rose is struggling throughout, thinking that she might be going crazy, but desperate to keep any of her friends from knowing her struggles. It is obvious that Dimitri has moved past his struggles to keep from loving Rose too much, but Rose really doesn’t see that. They are both still keeping to their assigned roles in this book, but it seems like Dimitri has lost the battle to keep the relationship purely professional, but still, Rose doesn’t see. The scenes between Dimitri and Rose are wonderful. He wants into her mind to help her through her struggles, and she won’t allow that, so the back and forth between them really touches me as I read. The scene where Dimitri is helping Rose to clean the chapel and Rose is trying to figure out why he is there — I just wanted to scream, “Can’t you see that he is doing this because he cares about you and wants to spend his time with you?????” Without spoiling too much, let me say how happy I was that finally Dimitri and Rose were able to figure out how to manage their relationship. But then, holy cow, to have the stars seem to align and then have all of that destroyed. So amazingly devastating. I won’t say more to keep from spoiling too much, but I’ll say that Richelle Mead did an excellent job telling this story. What could have turned into something totally sappy or over the top full of depression, instead got to the point effectively. The event at the end of this book is the second of two big events in Rose’s life that will change her forever. Once she goes through this struggle, the novice dhampir Rose is gone and in her place is a stronger, fiercer, more mature Rose. This book was the turning point in the series where I went from loving these books to LOVING these books. Just to move away from Rose and Dimitri for a bit — Richelle Mead is a master at creating secondary characters who are not just place fillers, but instead gives them a richness that really adds to the rest of the story. Although this is primarily a story about Rose and Dimitri, the secondary characters hold a special place in my heart. I always loved Christian for the full dimension of his character, but in this book I really start to love him. He may have an outward appearance to the people around him of a bad boy who doesn’t care about anyone else in the world, but he has a fierce love and loyalty to Lissa for sure, but also for those around him. His interactions with Rose in this novel were fascinating because they appear to not care for each other at all, but when it comes down to it they do trust each other and their motivations. And, the end of this novel is the beginning of the rise of Adrian as a character. Up to then he seems to play the role of the self-centered, fun loving, drink-and-smoke-his-cares-away character. Rose believes that he is truly superficial. But, by the end it is clear that there is more to him, and there is a vulnerability to him, especially regarding Rose. Adrian is one of my favorite characters in this series, and his actions at the end of this book show the beginning of why he is super awesome in my opinion. Lissa is probably my least favorite character, but she is lifted up by those around her, so her character is strengthened by a wonderful supporting group.